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TURKISH AIR
FORCE


First aviation efforts in the Turkish Armed Forces were commenced in 1909. Turkish Military Aviation Organization took its place among the first worlwide aviation organizations in 1911 and the Turkish Armed Forces had its first pilots and aircraft in 1912.

With the inauguration of the Air School (the Flight School) in Yeşilköy, İSTANBUL on 3 July 1912, Turkish Armed Forces started to train its rated aviators in the country.

During World War  I, the Turkish Air Force Command participated in the war at various fronts within a wide area ranging from Galicia to Yemen and to Caucasia.

In 1925, the Air School was reestablished in Eskişehir and yielded its first graduates the same year.With a law which was put into effect in 1932, the aviators were considered as aseperate combat arm and they started to wear blue uniforms symbolizing aviation, as of 1933. In1937, the Air War College was inaugurated and Air Brigades were established in 1939.

In 1940 the Turkish Air Force become the most powerful air force in the Balkans with about 500 aircraft in its inventory.

The Turkish Air Force Command was established on 31 january 1944, by a decision to collect all air units under a single command. Lieutenant General Zeki Doğan was appointed as the first commander of the Turkish A ir Force.

Turkish Air Force Command started to make a transition to base and squadron establishments iin 1950 and the 9th Jet Base Command established in Balikesir became the first jet base of the Turkish Air Force, whereas 191st , 192nd and 193rd Squadrons became the first jet squadrons.

The Turkish Air Force Command was established in order to avoid potential  air threats against the Turkish Nation and its country and to ensure the land and Naval Forces can achieve their missions easily in case of war. The Headquarters of the Turkish Air Force is located in Ankara.

The Turkish A ir Force Command personnel comprises officers, NCO's, cadets, civilian employees, enlistedmen and privates which can be categorized under two main groups as active and reserve personnel.

1st Tactical Air Force Command, 2nd Tactical Air Force Command , Air Training Command and Air Logitics Command, each at the corps level within the Turkish Air Force Command oranization, were located in Eskişehir, Diyerbakır, İzmir and Ankara, respectively. Directy affiliated to Air Force Command, on the other hand, are the 10th Tanker Base Command, 11th and 12th Air Transpotation Main Base Command.

Combat aircrft, trainers and transportation aircraft available in Turkish Air Force inventory include F-16, F-4, F-5, SF-260, T-41, T-37, T-38, C-160, CN-235, CIT-II, CIT-VII, GOLF-IV, KC-135, UH-I and COUGAR AS-532.

In every period beginning from its foudation date, Turkish Air Force which has a modern and strong  structure with its aircraft, weapon systems, educated and experienced personnel, has on outstanding position among the other Air Forces.  Turkish Air Force has the capability to show its active existence not only in its region but also all around the world and beside the dissuasiveness to the enemy's belligernce, it has the power and capability to accomplish all missions under every conditions by being the greatest guarantee across its region and all around the world.

Source: TIAD 2001 Book    

In 1903, after the Wright Brothers succeeded in flying the first motorized plane and thus started process that would transport human being even to space, World Aviation began to develop at an unbelievable speed in a short span of time and,all of the countries of the world started to strive to use to sky more efficiently. Owing to the boundless intelligence and agilitiy of turkish people Turkey also kept up with this rapid progressin world avition and the foundation of today's Air Forces were laid only 8 years after the flight took place.

Since its inception,Turkish Air Force personnel by following technology closely, and working on scientific principles in a sacrifious manner have made this foundation to reach its present strength.All these endeavors enabled Turkish Air Force to be one of the most efficient and greastetair forces of the world.

Turkish Air Force,one of the early founded air forces in the world,is able to display its existence all around the world with its systems and highly qualified personnel.Turkish Air Force is celebrating its 90th anniversary between of  30 May and 2 June 2001.

Throught the celebration festvities, Turkish people and Turkish Armed Forces personnel will have the opportunity to watch the air demonstration of acrobatic teams and aircraft of the influential countries at world aviation in the interational air show which takes place in İzmir.

Moreover, thanks to developments in technology, the frontiers of the Turkish Air Force have enlarged in away to comprise the space.An international symposium on "Space studies in the world and Turkey's potential" will take in place in Ankara on 30-31 May 2001, which will cover all the aspects of  Tukey's potential and the works willcarry out so far in this field.

During its 90 years of  existence while creating today's modern and powerful Air Force by combining the braveness and courage of the Turkish people, Turkish Aviators have being acting by keeping in mind the principle "He who loves his country the most, is the one who accomplishes his duty perfectly."

In summery, bearing in mind the principles and reforms of Atatürk we have established on Air Force with strong foundation which looks to the future with confidence. The human mentality, which is the only guarantee we possess, will hold the Turkish Air Force within the modernization process in an uninterrupted manner.

With my best regards.

ERGİN CELASİN
General
Commander, TAF